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Many rely on bees to spread their pollen

Why Homeowners Should Be Positive About BEES in Their Landscape

I DO NOT WANT ANY BEES IN MY LANDSCAPE!

I DO NOT WANT ANY BEES IN MY LANDSCAPE!

I hear this remark all the time from homeowners for whom I design landscapes. It makes me ask, “Why not”?

Unfortunately, bees have gotten a bum rap by homeowners in the last 20 years or so. People unfairly view Bees as an angry and aggressive intruder in the backyard, an unwanted guest with the sole purpose of ruining your backyard barbecue with family or friends, which simply is not true.

The main purpose of bees is to collect pollen The main purpose of bees is to collect pollen (for their hive) or distribute pollen (on other plants) to aid in the development of fruit on those plants.  Pollen provides a valuable food source for bee larvae back in the hive.

Without pollen, bees cannot produce honey, bee larvae will die, and with a hive losing its ability to sustain itself through the creation of new generations of worker bees, will simply perish.

The spreading of pollen from one fruit or vegetable plant to another is how the plant forms fruit…and from that fruit, creates the necessary seed that will allow that plant to reproduce itself again for future generations.

Many of the food crops we enjoy, such as corn, wheat, apples, tomatoes, and blueberries, all rely on bees to spread their pollen.  Without the efforts of those pollinating bees, the world’s agricultural industry would collapse!

Homeowners are often afraid of bees for fear of getting stung by them.  By nature, bees are not aggressive, unless they must protect their hive from physical threat.  Hornets, yellow jackets, and wasps (which do not resemble bees at all) are more likely to be aggressive and sting an unsuspecting human visitor in the landscape.

I have been an active gardener for over 30 years and cannot recall ever being stung by a bee.

What bees and other pollinating insects can bring to a landscape is movement…and life!Many rely on bees to spread their pollen

Sitting in a quiet space in your landscape and watching bees hover and dance from one flower to the next gathering pollen on their legs is almost hypnotic.  For many gardeners, watching bees in their landscape definitely lowers their blood pressure.

Think about these points the next time you see bees in your backyard, and you are tempted to run for the aerosol spray insect killer.

An Open Rear Porch is a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors in any weather

Celebrate Spring With An Outdoor Living Space To Die For!

3 Ways to Enjoy Your Backyard With Protection From the Elements:

I am sure many are skeptical that spring will arrive to Delaware any time soon. With a fourth nor’easter ushering in the season of rebirth, it is hard to imagine warm days and nights spent enjoying the outdoors.

Yet, as sure as the sun rises and sets each day, the warm weather will be here soon. Make this the year that you enhance your backyard with a Pergola, sunroom or a beautiful outdoor living space installed by Delaware’s #1 hardscape experts, DiSabatino Landscaping.

3 ways to enjoy your backyard with protection from the elements

1) A Pergola can provide a beautiful accent to your rear yard. The structure alone can produce a comfortable amount of shade. Enhance that shade with a retractable canopy or overhead lattice work.
An Open Rear Porch is a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors in any weather
2) An Open Rear Porch is a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors in any weather. The roof will provide protection from the sun and the rain. Add retractable screens for protection from insects. Add heaters to warm the area for all season entertaining.
A Sunroom is another wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors
3) A Sunroom is another wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors. Add wide open screen windows or a grand wall of doors that slide open to let fresh air in. Sunrooms can also have heat and air conditioning for yearlong enjoyment.

outdoor kitchen, fireplace, television or sound system

Don’t forget the accents like an outdoor kitchen, fireplace, television or sound system to create your total outdoor living experience.

Entertainment can be a breeze with an outdoor living space full of all the luxuries that one would expect to have to go indoors to enjoy. Get family and friends together for some fresh air, great conversation and superb entertainment that will sooth and rejuvenate the soul.

If you’re looking to extend your home’s living space to the outdoors, get in touch with DiSabatino Landscaping – 302-764-0408

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3 Ways to Prepare Your Patio for Spring

Preparing Patios for spring This has been one wet winter and as spring approaches, it is not going to dry up anytime soon. When moisture sits continually on cement, brick and stamped concrete surfaces mildew and algae can become a problem. In addition, the freeze and thaw cycles of winter can cause damage to patios that have cracks and crevices.

Many are more than ready for the sunny warm weather ahead, but are our patios ready?Now is the time to prepare for the outdoor dinners, cocktail hours and picnics ahead. Getting your patio in shape for the season can make entertaining a breeze.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR PREPARING YOUR PATIO FOR SPRING AND SUMMER USE:

1 ) Inspect for Ice Damage: As mentioned before, the winter can cause damage to patio surfaces when water seeps into cracks or crevices and freezes. Early spring is the time to assess any damage done from freeze/thaw cycle.

Not only do cracks or chipped areas on concrete look bad, they could deteriorate even further if not repaired. The approach to repairing these surfaces will vary depending on a number of variables. Check out this Quickrete® Guide on Repairing Concrete.
Patio Care Tips: How to Clean and Maintain Decorative Concrete

2) Clean off Mildew and Algae: How you deal with ridding a patio of mildew and algae with depend on the severity of the stains. It is recommended to start with a stiff broom to sweep off as much dirt and debris as possible. While using a power washer is less caustic, it often does not work on stubborn stains.

Using bleach or vinegar is effective, but it could do some real damage to your lawn and landscaping. Baking soda is more natural and gentler solution – try mixing ½ cup baking soda to one gallon of water and 1/8 cup of liquid dish detergent first. Spray it on the patio surface, let it sit for 30 minutes, then scrub and rinse.

If your patio does not receive enough sun to dry up on a regular basis to prevent recurring mildew and algae, consider pruning or removing some trees to allow more sunlight to reach your patio.

3) Apply Sealant: If your patio has not been sealed in that last 3-5 years, it would be wise to have a sealant applied to prolong the life of your patio.

Sealer provide a tough, water-resistant finish that is protects your patio from exposure to water, common acids, alkalies, petroleum, solvents, oils, greases, and salts. Call a professional hardscape specialist to have sealer applied.


Tree and Shrub Care Specialist DiSabatino Landscaping is Delaware’s #1 Hardscape and Landscape Specialist. We can design an outdoor living environment that will add quality to your life and value to your home. Give us a call today! 302-764-0480

colordogwood

How to Handle the Challenges to Your Landscape for Record Cold Winter

winter landscapes

2018 has started off as a blustery cold winter and our friend Phil the groundhog gave us some more bad news when he saw his shadow, declaring six more weeks of winter. Whether you believe in Phil’s skills or not, one thing is for sure: this record cold winter has had a major impact on our area.

How has this affected homeowners?

This year, we heard from many of our clients that their pipes have burst for the first time ever in more than 50 years of living in their homes. Sustained wind chills at below zero temperatures have kept a lot of plumbers busy.

Because temperatures were so low and were accompanied by snow, there were higher than average amounts of rock salt being used. In some cases, it was ineffective because it was so cold.

This is an issue because the salt can be dangerous to driveways, walkways, garages and plants that are in close proximity to the street. Even though our clients may be diligent in using safe concrete and paved surface products, tires and wheel wells can pick up significant amounts of rock salt and brine. The residuals can drop onto the driveway or get tracked into patios and walkways. When the snow melts, the salt gets into soil, seriously hurting plants and trees.

Evergreen plants such as boxwoods, cherry laurels, rhododendrons and others get serious winter burn and browning, causing concerned homeowners. Luckily, in most instances the new growth will emerge in the spring.

In addition, our company’s work schedule has been impacted by weather delays and low temperatures that cause unsafe word conditions. This has resulted in a larger than usual backlog for the spring. Even with this cold weather, a lot of our clients have been planning their outdoor living spaces, pools and landscapes to be ready when the warm temperatures arrive. If you are planning a project this spring, we recommend contacting one of our team members for a consultation to get started soon.

This year is starting off as one of our busiest in over a decade. We are committed to taking care of our clients and continuing our tradition of excellence in customer service and quality installs, but we need your help this year to have us out early enough to take care of your landscape, outdoor living space or pool.

And when spring does come, we’ll all be grateful to hear birds chirping, see plants budding and entertain friends and family outdoors!


Tree and Shrub Care Specialist DiSabatino Landscaping is Delaware’s #1 Hardscape and Landscape Specialist. We can design an outdoor living environment that will add quality to your life and value to your home. Give us a call today! 302-764-0480

4 Steps to Optimal Plant Health for Your Landscaping:

4 Steps to Optimal Plant Health for Your Landscaping

 

4 Steps to Optimal Plant Health for Your Landscaping:

Why Plant Culture and Environment is Important for Plant Health

A healthy plant, planted correctly in the right location, is more likely to remain healthy and less susceptible to attack by disease or insects.

Healthy gardens and landscapes start not only with healthy plants but also with healthy soil and environments. Quality soil and mulch, with proper watering regimes for new (and sometimes established) plants play important parts of keeping plants healthy and thriving. Good management of the landscape is essential, especially in the soil and root systems of plants. Maintenance, plus fertilizing, pruning and making other adjustment as conditions change, is also essential.

Check out our ‘Plant Health Care Programs and/or Preservation’ suggestions to get your plants lush and healthy.

4 Steps to Optimal Plant Health for Your Landscaping:

1) Soil Testing: determines proper mode of action.
2 )Fertilizing Program: Spring – macro-element based (N-P-K); Summer – granular application for mid-season improvements; Fall – micro-element based (iron, calcium, sulfur and mycorrhizae/humates).
3) Air Spading for root systems (if necessary): De-compacts soil, root collar excavations, girdling root removals and Amendments (compost/organic matter) may be added for additional soil improvement.
4)Pest Management Applications: This should be for plants that still exhibit insect problems or trees that are susceptible to damaging invasive pests/disease. Many applications require more than one for the treatment to be effective. A goal should be to use a minimal risk treatment (cultural practices, oils, soaps, beneficial insects) before applying conventional insecticides/fungicides. However, in many instances, a zero or minimal-tolerance for pests and disease, would be considered grounds for treatment; this means, depending on the extent or severity of the infestation/or disease, that immediate action should be taken to remedy a solution.


Tree and Shrub Care Specialist DiSabatino Landscaping is Delaware’s #1 Hardscape and Landscape Specialist. We can design an outdoor living environment that will add quality to your life and value to your home. Give us a call today! 302-764-0480

4 Benefits of Planting ‘Winter Interest’ Plants

4 Benefits of Planting ‘Winter Interest’ Plants

The winter weather tends to bring a boring, cold landscape that further makes us want spring to come as soon as possible. All the plants in a landscape are frozen in time or cut back to the ground, awaiting the weather to break and bring us their colorful interest for yet another season.

This winter, as you stay warm in your home, consider spots outside that could benefit from a little color added to an otherwise bland landscape. Winter interest plants may not warm you up, but they are sure to bring some color and lifeduring the boring winter days.

4 Benefits of Planting ‘Winter Interest’ Plants This Season:

colordogwood 1) COLOR – Color that is otherwise not around until the weather breaks in April.  Try color twig dogwood or Switchgrasses (Panicum sp.) as winter accent plants.
winter interest plants 2) BIRDS –Winterberry shrubs and Hawthorne trees have colorful berries that attract an array of birds.
Witchhazel 3) FLOWERS – Early flowering Witch-hazel and perennial Hellebore give a surprise of flower color during winter months.
winter landscapes 4) SHELTER – Grasses that are not cut back are a habitat for wildlife, including some beneficial pollinators that overwinter in stems of grass plants and perennials.

There is no added landscape maintenance for winter interest plants. ‘Winter Interest’ plants are utilized in many ways to improve the winter view until our flowers and warm weather return in the spring!


Tree and Shrub Care Specialist DiSabatino Landscaping is Delaware’s #1 Hardscape and Landscape Specialist. We can design an outdoor living environment that will add quality to your life and value to your home. Give us a call today! 302-764-0480

5 Tips on Keeping Fresh Landscape Installations Looking Great

5 Tips on Keeping Fresh Landscape Installations Looking Great

Did you have a landscape overhaul last season?

5 Tips on Keeping Fresh Landscape Installations Looking Great Your new landscape may look spectacular for the first year, but it could revert to being lackluster shortly thereafter without pest control, plant feeding, and routine pruning.

A professional landscaping makeover can greatly enhance the value of any home. Keeping a freshly landscaped property well maintained is an art in itself. If you want your landscape to continue to flourish and look nice year after year, you will need to initiate a landscape maintenance plan.

The importance of maintaining your landscape plants and properly feeding, pruning and protected from extreme temperature and pests cannot be overstated. Now that you have invested in creating a beautiful outdoor environment, it is time to protect that investment.

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Did You Know DiSabatino Landscaping Designs Beautiful Patios With Pergolas?

Did You Know DiSabatino Lanscaping Designs Pergolas? DiSabatino Landscaping builds beautiful pergolas integrated expertly with custom designed patios and decks. A pergola can provide protection from direct sunlight, yet allow for air to circulate freely. This makes them a welcome respite from the harsh rays of the afternoon sun. Making them a perfect feature of an outdoor living space.

Check out this charming outdoor space that DiSabatino’s creative hardscape architects designed and installed for the Heald Property in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. Notice the various gathering places, such as the awesome fire pit adjacent to the Italian Renaissance style pergola. Perfect for outdoor entertainment and enjoyment. Continue reading

Why Late Winter is the Best Time to Prune

Most would be surprised to learn that winter is the best time to prune your deciduous plants. Though it might be frigid and snowy outside, pruning plants in the winter months while they lay dormant promotes fast regrowth come spring.

Proper pruning can enhance the health and look of your trees and shrubs. Winter is a good time because most woody plants are dormant and so too are the many insects and diseases that could potential invade at the location of the pruning cuts.

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Check Out This Brick Edged Slate Patio Design by DiSabatino Landscaping in Delaware

Check Out This Brick Edged Slate Patio by DiSabatino Landscaping in Delaware DiSabatino Landscaping of Delaware has built a stellar reputation for quality custom hardscape designs in the Delaware area. This example above shows how we can convert a aged and stained brick patio can be converted to a beautiful slate patio edged superbly with red brick.

Check Out This Brick Edged Slate Patio Design by DiSabatino Landscaping in Delaware

Note the excellent use of space and the professional way in which the designers meld this outdoor space to reflect the nature of the home’s design. Creating an outdoor living space increases the square footage of your home and increase its value and curb appeal.

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5 Great Tips for Preparing Your Patio for Winter

 5 Great Tips for Preparing Your Patio for Winter

The fall weather has been extremely mild, which may fool many of us into becoming content with putting off the annual task of preparing patios and decks for the approaching winter season. Some might feel winterizing outdoor living spaces at this time is a little premature.

At DiSabatino Landscaping, we strongly suggest that now is the perfect time to prepare your patio for winter before the morning frost sets in. Take the time to do a thorough inspection and assessment of your patios, driveways and walkways to protect them from the freeze/thaw cycles sure to be heading our way soon.

As the saying goes; “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, meaning it is easier to stop something from happening in the first place than to repair the damage after it happens.

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Don’t Settle For Second Best – Hire the Premier Outdoor Architects Today!

Don't Settle For Second Best - Hire Premier Outdoor Architects Today! Our professional landscape team created this beautiful outdoor living space for a residence located in Garnet Valley PA. We added a modern waterfall feature at the center of the walled stone patio with a conversation fire pit on one side and a full outdoor cooking area with seating for eight on the other. Notice the recessed LED lighting and miniature plantings used as ascents throughout. As well as the mature trees, mulching and luscious sod.

As you can see, DiSabatino Landscaping can handle ALL your landscaping and hardscaping needs. Why settle for second best? Hire the premier outdoor architects today!

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Got Drainage? Proper Drainage Benefits Your Landscaping and Your Home’s Foundation

If your yard has a variety of climates, you might want to invest in a drainage system that can correct improper water maintenance and protect your property.

My property has many issues; I have a soggy swamp-like area in one spot, a brittle dried out dessert-like section with tumbleweeds in another and finally, a vibrant oasis in another. It is frustrating that only a portion of my landscaping is thriving, while the rest is an outright embarrassment. Besides that, my sump pump and dehumidifier is constantly cycling.

faulty drainage system I had DiSabatino Landscape Experts come out to survey my property and they said my property could benefit from an installation of a proper drainage system. They shared that they could create drainage system with pipes underground to redirect the moisture from my swampy area and my home’s foundation to underground storm water runoffs.

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Create a Spectacular Outdoor Living Space With DiSabatino Landscaping

Have you always wanted to create an outdoor living area to entertain family and friends in style?

Check out this recent transformation of an aged and worn backyard patio. DiSabatino Landscaping created an inviting conversation area with fire pit, outdoor cooking area, ambient lighting and cascading steps.

Notice how creatively the hardscape and landscaping is tied together to create a stunning outdoor living area that will not only makes the outdoors more enticing, but adds a true value to the home and property. If your interested in finding out how DiSabatino Landscaping can transform your backyard, get in touch today!

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Check Out Our 10 Autumn Landscape Maintenance Tips

Check Out Our 10 Autumn Landscape Maintenance Tips It is widely believed that being in the right place, at the right time can lead to better results in life and business. That is true in the landscaping business, as well. Timing is everything. There are certain tasks or lawn maintenance that need done during certain times of the year.

Properly timed treatment will have your landscape reaping the benefits. Doing them at the wrong time could be a waste of energy or worse. It could actually harm your landscape.

Not everyone has a green thumb. That should not prevent us from having vibrant landscaping year round. It a simple measure of doing right thing at the right time. At DiSabatino Landscaping of Delaware, we help keep our customer’s lawn and garden looking its best by following best practices. With autumn on the horizon, we thought the Autumn Landscape Maintenance List might be helpful.

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Transform Your Old Tired Pool into an Oasis

custom pools and pool makeovers If your pool area has become worn cracked and overall uninviting, it might be time for a full makeover!

Let DiSabatino transform your pool area into an inviting oasis that can make your backyard the envy of the neighborhood. Fall is a perfect time to remodel the hardscaping and landscaping surrounding your pool area, making your next pool season a huge success!

Check out this transformation we did on the Walsh property. Notice how we installed a beautiful slip proof decking, stone walls and waterfall with ambient lighting. Not only is this pool side  more inviting, it’s a lot safer than the previous cement and wood decking conducive to slippage and other mishaps.

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Time to Start Planning For Fall Plantings

Vivid red and pink leaves of autumn berberry bush The soaring temperatures of summer mixed with plenty of humidity make the idea of fall foliage and plantings seem a long way off.  Yet, there are those that prefer the bold strokes of red, yellow and purple that autumn brings. For them, now is the time to start planning for the fall season.

Planting for multiple seasons cannot only make your landscaping a year round hit, it serves as important food sources for wildlife populations, such as hummingbirds, insects, butterflies and bee colonies.  Depending on the temperatures, these populations can peak in the fall and greatly enjoy the later flowers of fall asters, salvia, and helenium .

Gardens that peak in the fall often can withstand dry conditions and create an oasis in your yard that looks good even in the worst weather. Shortening days and crisp nights  can create perfect conditions for jewel like fall blooms such as Colchicum bulbs (a.k.a. autumn crocus), Leadwort, Smoke Tree, Fothergilla.

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You’re Going to Be Impressed With This Landscape Transformation!

You’re Going to Be Impressed With This Landscape Transformation With all the time spent during working hours trapped inside at a desk, why would you want to come home and lock yourself inside?

Many of us wish our properties were more inviting and conducive to outdoor relaxation, gatherings or family dinners. A small slab of concrete outside the back door with a grim view of dried up grass is hardly something we look forward to viewing at the end of a hard day.

Why not make an inviting outdoor environment to relax with the family at the end of the day or a great place to entertain on the weekends. Not to mention an invigorating start to the work day as you dine al fresco on some fresh fruit and steaming coffee, while communing with wildlife.

If you’re looking for ways to create a beautifully landscaped and hardscaped space that calls you to the outdoors, get in touch with DiSabatino Landscaping, we can make all you outdoor living dreams come true.

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Early Detection is Key for Solving Landscaping Insect and Disease Infestations

WARNING: This year is going to be a year of plant pest and diseases running rampant, as temperatures and moisture are ideal for breeding and spreading them.  Add to that the fact that the past mild winter also allowed for carry over of insect populations and diseases from the previous growing season.

Whether it is plants, shrubs, trees or sod – all of your landscape could be at risk for insect or disease infestations that could lead to costly consequences. Landscaping is an investment and regular maintenance is necessary to protect that investment.

sick green leaf of a tree close up That is why those of us at DiSabatino Landscaping strongly suggest homeowners perform a regular scouting expedition of their landscaping to identify any potential issues with their plantings before they become an irreversible problem. It is an important component of any insect or disease management regimen to directly observe and identify insect or disease infestations as soon as possible.

Part of being able to identify potential infestations is to be familiar with your vegetation’s healthy appearance and the history of previous pest or pathogen problems on your property.  As alluded to earlier, many fungal pathogens and pests may overwinter in soil or debris. Nursery plants may also introduce unwanted organisms to your soil.

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Cheaper Isn’t Always Better – The DiSabatino Difference

DiSabatino Landscaping, our design consultants take pride in creating plans that fit your vision

Cheaper Isn’t Always Better

Is cheaper really better? When it comes to the investment you make in the landscape around your home, the answer is NO. At DiSabatino Landscaping, our design consultants take pride in creating plans that fit your vision, lifestyle and investment level, but keep in mind that what seems to be cheaper upfront, can be costly in the long run.

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